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Susan Small who was a dementia support worker and a carer says:

By Independent News 18th August 2016

“People should not be defined by their dementia, but given opportunities and experiences to enjoy life and relationships – and indeed take a few risks now again. We need to learn to listen more to what the person with dementia is telling us.”

“It is important for people to get a correct, early diagnosis, as long as it is followed up with timely information and support. Too little information can leave the person with dementia and those close to them, feeling ill prepared – yet too much information can leave people fearful of their future.”

Barbara Dow who cared for her husband Al and is now a dementia campaigner agrees, stressing that a timely diagnosis enabled them to plan for the future together. This meant they could move house to be nearer to family and facilities where they could both continue much loved hobbies such as dancing. She said: “Al continued to lead a full life to the best of his abilities. If he could not dance, then he could go to the gym and swim.”

She also speaks of humour lessening frustration and maintaining self-esteem: “Al might forget who had just spoken on the phone. We used to say it was Mr or Mrs Whatsit, have a bit of a laugh together about it and then I would dial 1471.”